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Sinful self, saintly self : the Puritan experience of poetry

Author: Jeffrey Hammond
Publisher: Athens : University of Georgia Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Sinful Self, Saintly Self is a comprehensive study of early New England verse in light of Puritan notions regarding the nature and uses of poetry. Through a new historical reading of three major Puritan poets - Michael Wigglesworth, Anne Bradstreet, and Edward Taylor - Jeffrey Hammond reconstructs this aesthetic framework using Puritan theology, artistic and exegetical traditions deriving from the Bible, and Puritan  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Michael Wigglesworth; Anne Bradstreet; Edward Taylor; Anne Bradstreet; Michael Wigglesworth; Anne Bradstreet; Edward (Schriftsteller 1642-1729) Taylor; Anne Bradstreet; Edward Taylor; Michael Wigglesworth
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jeffrey Hammond
ISBN: 0820315001 9780820315003
OCLC Number: 25915911
Description: xiv, 305 p. ; 25 cm.
Contents: 1. The forgotten Pilgrim : Biblical reading and the Puritan experience of poetry --
2. "By ladders of your own" : eschatology and the selflessness of reading --
3. "A sinful self ... remaining in my heart" : riddles of comfort for the saintly self --
4. "Setting up my Ebenezer" : Anne Bradstreet and the examined self --
5. "Hidden manna that the world knows not" : the Pilgrim's inner life --
6. "Make use of what I leave in love" : the saintly self on trial --
7. Apostle to a naked Christ : Gods determinations for Pilgrim readers --
8. "Both wayes born" : Edward Taylor as weary Pilgrim --
9. "The crumb of dust" : Pilgrim voice and Christic reader in the Preparatory meditations --
10. "In sacred text I write" : the Taylorian self as the Word.
Responsibility: Jeffrey A. Hammond.
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Abstract:

Offers a study of early New England verse in the light of Puritan notions of the nature and use of poetry (the psychology of the saved soul). The book offers a new historical perspective on three  Read more...

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schema:description"1. The forgotten Pilgrim : Biblical reading and the Puritan experience of poetry -- 2. "By ladders of your own" : eschatology and the selflessness of reading -- 3. "A sinful self ... remaining in my heart" : riddles of comfort for the saintly self -- 4. "Setting up my Ebenezer" : Anne Bradstreet and the examined self -- 5. "Hidden manna that the world knows not" : the Pilgrim's inner life -- 6. "Make use of what I leave in love" : the saintly self on trial -- 7. Apostle to a naked Christ : Gods determinations for Pilgrim readers -- 8. "Both wayes born" : Edward Taylor as weary Pilgrim -- 9. "The crumb of dust" : Pilgrim voice and Christic reader in the Preparatory meditations -- 10. "In sacred text I write" : the Taylorian self as the Word."@en
schema:description"Sinful Self, Saintly Self is a comprehensive study of early New England verse in light of Puritan notions regarding the nature and uses of poetry. Through a new historical reading of three major Puritan poets - Michael Wigglesworth, Anne Bradstreet, and Edward Taylor - Jeffrey Hammond reconstructs this aesthetic framework using Puritan theology, artistic and exegetical traditions deriving from the Bible, and Puritan assumptions about the psychology of the saved soul. Despite the current resurgence of interest in early American literature, Puritan poetry remains only dimly understood and appreciated. With the exception of Edward Taylor's Preparatory Meditations and Anne Bradstreet's personal lyrics, it is often viewed as a poetry of gloom and doctrine rather than of affirmation and inspiration. In reconstructing the Puritan experience of poetry, Hammond argues that this widespread view reflects a persistent tendency to approach these poems from a modern perspective. The contemporary critical bias against didactic and conventional writing has made Bradstreet and Taylor seem to be the only Puritan poets worth reading. The most popular poet of the era, Michael Wigglesworth, author of the infamous Day of Doom, remains virtually ignored because of this bias. Moreover, Bradstreet and Taylor are often interpreted and assessed in terms of the poetic preferences of the modern reader. Hammond contends that by understanding how Puritans felt when they wrote and read verse, modern readers can appreciate these writings on their own terms. "There was a Puritan way of reading," he maintains, "and it was not like ours. . . . Puritans were not merely content with their poetry but seem to have delighted in its didacticism and conventionality - the very qualities that distance the texts from us." Sinful Self, Saintly Self provides an important corrective to anachronistic interpretations and allows contemporary readers to confront the "otherness" of Puritan poetry. By historicizing the experience of seventeenth-century New England verse, Hammond argues for the interpretation of older writings in their cultural and psychological contexts."@en
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